The opening pyro hit and the King is standing in the ring. He said interim GM Vickie Guererro told him to make a big announcement. Tonight, John Cena would get his rematch against Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Piper’s Pit is set up on the stage and Lillian introduces our host… Chris Jericho. Jericho welcomed us and said he had been berated for so long by these hypocrites, and he went to great lengths to procure the Piper’s Pit set. He showed us one of the biggest incidents on the shows history, including Piper whacking Jimmy Snuka with a coconut. He introduced his guest as Jimmy Snuka.
Snuka sat down, not looking so excited to see Jericho sat down really close and stared Jericho down. Jericho put over the feud with Piper and how big it was in 1984. Jericho said Snuka looked pretty good back in those days. Jericho said he was also a grim reminder of what can happen, because he was the poster boy for what Micky Rourke’s movie was all about. Jericho said Snuka still embarrasses himself by working high school shows in New Jersey. That he took a spot in the Royal Rumble last year, taking a spot f rom the younger talent. He said he was too egotistical to just let it go. He said that was the problem with guys like Flair, Piper, Steamboat and him. He said they just couldn’t let it go. Jericho said he brought him onto the show to show the super stars in the back what they could become. Like Snuka. A pathetic disgrace.
Jericho said Snuka was finished and nobody cared about him anymore. Snuka said he didn’t get it and wouldn’t quit. Jericho said Snuka could keep on re-living the past all he want. He brought up a bag of groceries and threw a pineapple at him, a banana and then took out a coconut. He asked Snuka if he really wanted to re-live another piece of his past. Snuka grabbed the coconut and threatened to hit Jericho with it. Jericho told him to take it easy and then ran off to the back. Snuka posed for the fans while his music played only for the set to come crashing down on him. Jericho hit him with some wood, whipped him with his belt and smooshed a banana on his face.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Rey Mysterio v. Mike Knox v. Kane
Rey got chased around the ring and despite ditching Knox, quickly found himself in the arms of Kane, and being promptly smashed to the mat. After fighting out of a power bomb attempt, Knox got back into the ring and chucked Mysterio out of the ring to the floor. Knox and Kane both connected with big boots, leaving both laid out on the mat.
We came back to Rey getting tossed out of the match again. Knox hit some right hands in the corner before hitting a follow up splash on Kane. He hit a snap mare and looked for a chin lock, but Kane fought out and was able to hit a back d rop suplex. Rey made his way back into the match, hitting a hurricanranna and a bulldog on Knox for a two count. Rey hit a double d rop kick on Kane before getting caught in a tilt a whirl back breaker for a two count.
Knox looked for a powerslam only for Rey to hit a DDT for a one count, largely due to it being broken up by Kane. Rey hit a hurricanranna on Kane, sending him into the second turnbuckle, but Knox came up f rom behind and whipped him. Rey came off the buckles and was sent over Knox’s head into Kane. Rey hit hurricanranna out of a Kane choke slam attempt and then d rop kicked Knox to the corner. Rey hit the 619 on Kane and d ropped the dime, but Knox came reeling out of nowhere with a big boot. He hit his inverted neck breaker on Rey, leaving him life less. He turned around only to meet a recovered Kane who hit the choke slam for the three count.
Winner: Kane via pin fall
Shawn Michaels is with Todd Grisham. He said the last year had been the most challenging of his career, but he had overcome all the obstacles He said tonight he’d end one undefeated streak and then at Wrestlemania, he’d end another one.
Mickie James & Kelly Kelly v. Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall
Kelly spent the opening moments figuring out new ways to escape Beth’s grasp only to eventually get power bombed into the corner. Jillian tagged in and started pulling hair and smashing her into the mat. Kelly was able to hold herself up and knock Jillian back long enough to get a hot tag to Mickie. Mickie and Jillian had some back and forth before Kelly got a tag and rolled Jillian up for the win.
Winners: Kelly Kelly & Mickie James via pin fall
After the match Rosa Mendez leapt into the ring. A brawl broke out. Melina and Maryse were on commentary. Melina went to interject only for Maryse to knock her off the apron and DDT her into the concrete.
A video putting over the Orton-Triple H saga aired.
Randy Orton waltzed out to the ring with the Legacy, a bunch of Lawyers and an army of armed security. He’s going to make his decision about who he’s going to face at Wrestlemania 25 next.
Randy Orton said he would be challenging the winner of Edge-Cena for the World Championship. He said many people thought he would challenge Triple H, but he wasn’t going to, because Triple H is going to be in jail. He said he’ll be charging him with assault with a deadly weapon later tonight. He said he d ropped his sledge hammer before Triple H was even in the ring. He said it was time for Triple H to face the music.
Triple H came out to the ramp. He said Orton’s doctors have IED, which meant he couldn’t control some of his actions. Triple H reminded us that he was in complete control of his. The security guards blocked off Orton as Triple H longingly gazed at his sledge hammer. He tossed it off to the side before the guards backed off and allowed him into the ring. He said he was going to tell Orton what he needed to hear.
Triple H said this all needed to end, not for them, but for him. Triple H said he NEEDED to beat HIM for the WWE Championship. He said Orton needs to avenge the moment that defines his life, Evolution. Triple H said he watched him become the youngest world champion in history. But then the next night, he took it away f rom him, beat him and then asked him how long he had that championship for. Triple H doesn’t run f rom his past. He said he wasn’t a good person and never had been. He said he wasn’t happy for his success. He made a conscious decision and took back what was his. Now Orton had that opportunity to avenge that night. He said it was his opportunity to beat him for the title and put all of it behind him. Yet, he made the decision to run. Why? Because he was afraid. He said Orton was afraid his whole life because deep, down inside of him, he knew he didn’t have what it took to beat Triple H. He said he could hire Lawyers and hide behind security all he wanted, but he knew the truth. He was just that same little kid who was carrying his bags around in Evolution. That same little boy with all the talent in the world, but who was also gutless.
Orton’s lawyer stepped in and went to remove Triple H and as they did, Orton told them to wait and let him go. Orton said thinks he’s changed his mind. He wont’ be facing Edge or John Cena. He’d be facing Triple H. But only under one condition. They settle it all at Wrestlemania. They do not put his hands on him, he doesn’t touch him. If it happens, Triple H spends Wrestlemania behind bars. Orton said there was one more thing. Orton just wanted to let him know it felt great to kick his father in law in the head. It felt even better when he did it to Shane. But most of all, when he RKO’d his wife, he just replays it over and over in his head and can even smell her scent and feel her skin. He wonders what she remembered before he smashed her face into the ground. Triple H exploded into the ring and we had an intense stare down. Triple H said the last time they fought, he broke Orton’s collar bone. He said that was business. This is all personal. He promised to break his neck.
Shawn Michaels v. Vladimir Kozlov
Michaels tried to back away f rom Kozlov but got caught with some shots in the corner before he went into evasion move again. Kozlov immediately caught him again though and after mauling him in the corner, went for a bear hug. Michaels hit a kick to the back of the leg and then tried to slap on a figure four, which was easily reversed. Michaels bails to the outside as we got to break.
Kozlov powered Michaels onto the corner buckles and rammed his head into HBK’s mid section before bringing him up and out of the corner hitting a running powerslam. Kozlov hit a diving head butt before slinging Michaels up in a torture rack. Michaels fought out of the torture rack only to get pelted with a back elbow for a two count.
Kozlov slapped on a back hug while the crowd tried to rally him. Michaels fought out of the hold and hit some chops before looking for his big flying forearm, but Kozlov hit him with the head butt. Michaels however, kicked out at two before Kozlov went back to work on the mid section and back. He perched Michaels on the top rope but Michaels fought him off and went for the elbow d rop.
Michaels pranced around and psyched the crowd up before nailing him with sweet chin music for the win.
Winner: Shawn Michaels via pin fall
After the match, the Undertaker came out and he and HBK stared each other down…
A trailer putting over ’12 Rounds’ aired.
Time to announce the next inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame. Its ?Cowboy? Bill Watts.
Edge is with Todd Grisham. He said he wanted his rematch to be here, tonight. He wanted Cena’s family to see his dreams squashed in his hometown. Again. He told him the champ was here last time around, and at the end of tonight, he’d do the same.
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge v. John Cena
Edge took Cena down with a headlock before Cena fought his way out.
Edge was grasping Cena with a rear chin lock, targeting his neck. Cena powered out only for Edge to cut him off with a boot to the face for a two count. Edge whipped Cena into the corner and then did it again before hitting a back elbow for another two count.
Cena mounted a come back and went into his victory sequence and hit a five knuckle shuffle only for Edge to attempt a roll up. Cena kicked out and went for the FU, but Edge wiggled out and hit the edge-o-matic. Edge went for a DDT, but Cena attempted a roll up and got a two count. Edge hit his implant DDT for a two count. Edge went to the top rope and Cena met him there and went for another FU. Edge was able to dump Cena to the outside. Cena barely beat the 10 count and then hit his snap mare.
Cena went for his top rope leg d rop before Edge caught him and slapped on the edge-u-cution. Cena made it to the ropes . Edge set up the spear, only for Cena to catch him in the STFU. After a nice tease, Edge reached the ropes. Cena turned around only to get hit with a spear, but Cena kicked out.
Edge snapped and grabbed his belt f rom ringside. He went into the ring and the ref grabbed it. Cena loaded Edge up for the FU only for Edge to grab it back while on his shoulders and clock Cena with it.
Winner: John Cena via DQ
Edge crawled up the ramp afterwards only for Big Show to show up. Vickie came out and announced to all of us that the Big Show was the new #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. Cena looks dejected while Edge is stunned.
Show Thoughts— Tonight was a lot like last week’s show sans the weird, if not crammed booking.
The opening segment I felt at least, was done pretty well. Snuka was surprisingly good at appearing the more sympathetic figure, and frankly did a better job in that role than either Steamboat or Piper. That being said, its really going to be time to unveil who Jericho’s opponent will be. While I’m sure people wouldn’t be THRILLED with the choice, Jerry Lawler seems reasonable to me. He’s the only guy around that age whose 1.) in the shape to have a long-ish match and 2.) has a move set that will actually work given his age. Lawler throws punches and sells. That’s what he did in 1982 and its what he does in 2009. Give him some time and let a new generation see just how good he is, even if its only for one night.
The Triple H-Orton feud progressed along well. I felt like they had to bring the intensity level down a bit and this ‘hands off’ policy the two are employing works well. It brings the energy level down enough but gives them the chance to still use tension to build the program with. In terms of content, it was Triple H’s best promo as a baby face, even though there wasn’t much ‘baby face’ in its nature. The past more or less had to be put over, and IMO, the fact that it was is a clear indicator that they’re really looking to make Orton a huge star with this program. Triple H has been set as a goal or a benchmark that Orton’s never been able to reach so to speak, so by laying it out, it represents a strong progression f rom where he was in 2004 (even though they skipped over last year’s mini-program for the most part).
My two big disappointments of the night were absolutely with the HBK-Kozlov match which I thought was horrible, especially for Kozlov and how poorly the Cena-Edge stuff went.
I’ve said it here (and other places) that I’ve never bought Shawn Michaels as a competent worker. He works two very specific types of matches one of which he’s not good at and the second of which he’s not physically capable of doing. In modern day HBK matches, we often see him use the back to sell damage before he miraculously leaps up, showing now damage and we blow home. Michaels’ selling is usually iffy and his offense has always been suspect as a baby face, so this format doesn’t usually lend it to his strengths. Having said that, this was pretty much the poster child for a poorly worked Shawn Michaels match, where heaps of so-so ish Kozlov back work is shrugged off, Kozlov’s finisher completely eaten and then he’s simply put away by the tidal wave that is Shawn Michaels’ sweet chin music.
Except its worse than that. They’ve spent a year getting Kozlov’s head over as this huge, unstoppable entity, piece of matter or whatever you want to call it. He’s no sold pedigrees, Big Show’s KO punch and just last week, pinned the Undertaker clean as a whistle. And one kick does the job this week? To that unstoppable head? No, I’m not emotional and no, Kozlov isn’t ‘buried’ by it, but its an example of how of more than a few nights, when Shawn doesn’t feel like showing up, he doesn’t. At all. Just sucks for the WWE that its with a guy they’ve invested a lot of time in.
The second match that was a little ‘odd’ or ‘off’ tonight was the reliably decent Edge-Cena match. This was just some bad stuff f rom both guys. Usually they’re reliable. They’ve had some good matches (Raw 12/06, Summerslam in 06) and some not so great stuff (Rumble 1/06 and Raw later that month), but its usually entertaining. This was two dudes blowing through signature spots as fast as they could, placing some really odd stuff in some really odd places. Cena selling the floor bump like death and then barely beating the count only to pop up and hit a throwback? Edge originally going for a sharpshooter but then deciding it’d be cooler if he whipped out his crappy late 90s indy finisher (the edge-e-cution or whatever)? Again, these guys can be a bit hit and miss, but they’re at least good for some ‘cool’ stuff. Thank god for a hot Boston crowd…
Overall, a pretty good Raw I felt that benefited more for its segments than its in ring stuff, which is pretty much the opposite of how things have gone lately.
Overall Grade: B+
Kane def. Rey Mysterio & Mike Knox to qualify for Money in the Bank
Mickie James & Kelly Kelly def. Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall
Shawn Michaels def. Vladimir Kozlov
John Cena def. Edge
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. John Cena
2. Triple H
3. Shawn Michaels
4. Rey Mysterio
1. Randy Orton
3. Chris Jericho
4. Vickie Guererro
Match of the Night: Kane v. Rey Mysterio v. Mike Knox *3/4
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss
Intercontinental Champion: CM Punk 4-4, 9 Points (Last Week: Intercontinental Champion) — Not in action.
1. Randy Orton 4-2, 9 pts. (Last Week: 1)— Good job ramping up the intensity tonight in the promo. They’ve done a great job establishing the ground work here, and wrapping up the first big phase of this feud. Now onto the sprint to the finish line.
2. Shawn Michaels 5-2, 9 pts. (Last Week: 3) — Another pretty awful showing for Michaels. Sure, the ends justify the means and he’s where he needs to be, but poor Vlad Kozlov.
3. John Cena 5-4, 12 points. (Last Week: 2) — I love Cena’s ring work for the most part, but tonight wasn’t one of his better efforts. Two losses in a row hurts him quite a bit and some chinks seem to be appearing in the ‘ace’s’ proverbial armor.
4. Chris Jericho 2-3 3 pts. (Last Week: 4)— While its a repedetive shtick, it works, which isn’t a bad thing. However, they’re at a point where its about time to unveil who he’ll be facing at Wrestlemania.
5. Rey Mysterio 4-5, 8 Points (Last Week: 5) — The absolute ‘hot point’ in the triple threat tonight. Hopefully, Rey figures out a way to wiggle onto the Wrestlemania card. Lord knows he deserves it.
6. JBL 0-3, 2 points (Last Week: 6)- – Not in Action.
7. Kane 4-2, 5 Points (Last Week: 9) — While he’s been hit and miss recently, he was a certain hit tonight. Kane on the card at Wrestlemania is a given almost every year and looks like he’ll get the chance to play monster this year.
8. Cody Rhodes 4-0, 4 points (Last Week: 7) — Not in action.
9.Ted Dibiase, Jr. 3-0, 3 Points (Last Week: 8)— See Cody.
10.Mike Knox 3-3 4 points (Last Week: 10) — Looks strong in the loss. While Knox hasn’t blown anyone’s doors off in the win department, he’s looked strong in nearly every outing he’s had. Keep an eye on him because he may be headed for some bigger things this summer.
William Regal, 3-4, 4 points (Last Week: 10)
Kofi Kingston 1-3, 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Batista 0-0, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Santino Marella 0-1, 0 points (Last Week:NR)
Sim Snuka 1-0, 1 Point (Last Week: NR)
JTG 2-4, 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Big Shaad 2-3 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Jamie Noble 0-2, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Dolph Ziggler 0-1, 0 Points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)